IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Cyber war: Don’t believe the hype

Are people overstating the seriousness and prevalence of cyber war? To numerous security pros, it seems so.

ANALYSIS There has been plenty of talk about cyber war of late and the stream of comments and developments doesn't look like easing up anytime soon.

At the RSA Conference this week, some serious security gurus were on hand to discuss what the actual term cyber war' means and what its connotations are.

One of the big-time attendees was Bruce Schneier, notable industry author and chief security technology officer at BT, who said that the term had been overused and overplayed.

He indicated there have been some histrionics surrounding a subject that no-one yet fully understands.

So is cyber war being exaggerated? Is there actually that much to worry about?

Mountains out of mole hills

It appears overstating matters is something not just kept to the cyber warfare segment of the security industry.

Just this week estimates suggesting the cost of cyber crime in the UK stands at 27 billion a year were called into question. A number of security professionals claimed the figure seemed a little too high to be realistic.

There has been plenty of overstating of the problems surrounding cyber war, according to Schneier.

So why would people want to exaggerate how dangerous the situation is? Schneier believes there are two chief reasons; firstly that war is simply a sexier term than cyber attack. "It's being talked up because that's what sells," he said.

Secondly, to get funding for cyber protection projects, the situation needs to appear tense, he explained.

"There's a lot of push for budget and power and overstating the threat is a good way to get people scared," Schneier said.

"They're useful terms if you want to set up a cyber command."

Indeed, in 2010, when senior figures in the UK started talking up the threat the country faced, there were suggestions that they had been motivated by fear of cuts in the then-impending spending review.

With the UK Budget announcements just around the corner, expect some more histrionics around the issue in this country at least.

Featured Resources

Four strategies for building a hybrid workplace that works

All indications are that the future of work is hybrid, if it's not here already

Free webinar

The digital marketer’s guide to contextual insights and trends

How to use contextual intelligence to uncover new insights and inform strategies

Free Download

Ransomware and Microsoft 365 for business

What you need to know about reducing ransomware risk

Free Download

Building a modern strategy for analytics and machine learning success

Turning into business value

Free Download

Recommended

The truth about cyber security training
Whitepaper

The truth about cyber security training

25 Apr 2022
The truth about cyber security training
Whitepaper

The truth about cyber security training

25 Apr 2022
The Total Economic Impact™ of Mimecast
Whitepaper

The Total Economic Impact™ of Mimecast

25 Apr 2022
The Total Economic Impact™ of Mimecast
Whitepaper

The Total Economic Impact™ of Mimecast

25 Apr 2022

Most Popular

Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies
Server & storage

Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies

12 May 2022
Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack
hacking

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack

16 May 2022
IT admin deletes company’s databases and is jailed for seven years
Policy & legislation

IT admin deletes company’s databases and is jailed for seven years

16 May 2022